Reviews

The Herald - Edinburgh Fringe 2008
Rob Adams - Tuesday 26th August 2008

 

As a Fringe gig, this was quite a party, with the front four rows suitably hatted and shaded, Blues Brothers-style, and the band's two frontmen pushing every button to sustain audience animation virtually without pause. After all, God - or a voice with heavenly authority - had decreed before a Stax/Atlantic Records classic was introed that we were not there to sit on our hands. And when the "brothers" weren't singing themselves hoarse, teasing the natives or looking for the titular cowbell, whose eventual appearance was inevitably anticlimactic, the bassist was sprinting up and down the bleachers, the brass section was blowing a gasket and the backing singers were offering Lulu and Dusty hits. All good sweaty fun.

Three Weeks
Edinburgh Fringe 2008 - Tuesday 19th August 2008

 

Seven musicians and singers, two backing singers and soloists, a Jake and an Elwood all make for the best comedy music show I have seen this Fringe. Songs as diverse as 'Scotland The Brave', 'Shout', 'Hound Dog' and a variation of the 'Scrubs' theme tune make brilliant appearances alongside such Blues classics as 'Everybody Needs Somebody To Love'. An audience of all ages were getting their groove on and I was nearly knocked out by the funky moves of a granddad doing the twist. I left with a stitch in my side, red-raw hands and a hoarse voice. I'm obviously a sucker for this kind of punishment though: if there are tickets, I'll be back next week.

Watford Observer - More than a Tribute Act
Neil Skinner - Monday 7th July 2008

 

Edinburgh’s Pleasance Theatre has, during previous Fringe Festivals, played host to some of the biggest comedic names in the UK; Frank Skinner, Al Murray, and Paul Merton to name but three.

 

Suffice to say, then, it’s far from easy to impress the management.

So it’s dark hats and sunglasses off to our very own Blues Brothers Banned, Chorleywood’s leading (and only) tribute act to the iconic US pair, for winning a thoroughly deserved invite.

 

The ten schoolmates (average age just 21) have caused something of a stir in recent months; serving up a riotous blend of high energy tom-foolery and vice tight musicianship at venues across the UK – a thoroughly good warm-up for their third crack at Edinburgh.

 

“We can’t wait to get up there, says 23-year-old Owen Visser, aka Elwood Blues.

“We’ve gone down well in the two years we’ve been before but to be invited to play the Pleasance is a massive honour for us.

“It’s amazing to think of the people who’ve played that same stage before us.”

 

What you may find more amazing, however, is how an act so young can have come so far mimicking a double act that (literally) died out in 1982. So what’s the big idea?

“We’re not your average tribute band,” adds Owen, who helped establish the act when still a pupil at St Clement Danes School “Obviously we’re inspired by the original Blues Brothers but we like to do our own thing; adding different styles of music and throwing in some newer songs.”

 

At first reading a tribute band that does its own thing is hardly conventional. But, then again, little about the original BB line-up (a notoriously anarchic act) made sense in the first place.

Indeed, in the 20-odd years since the death the death of John Belushi, the Brothers proper have seen almost as many line-ups.

It is this anarchic spirit, say the lads (and two girls), that they are really paying tribute to.

“They played covers in order to re-invent classic music of the past. Our aim is the same, but the decade is different.

“We’ve got some new songs up our sleeves for the audience and a show inspired by a Cowbell.

“We’re really just having a laugh up there. We’re not expecting too much from it but you never know.”

 

For a sneak preview of said Edinburgh show and the cowbell you too can check out the banned at Rickmansworth’s Watersmeet Theatre on Friday, July 25.

For tickets, priced £12.50/£10, call the box-office on 01923 71106 or visit www.watersmeet.org.uk The guys will be at the Pleasance from Tuesday, August 5 to Monday, August 25.

Kilburn Times - Shades of Blue
Peter Kennedy - Friday 28th March 2008

 

“Anyone familiar with the Blues Brothers brand knows they whip up a storm of fun and excitement borne of chaos and the same goes for their tribute offspring The Blues Brothers Banned’

 

“In the true spirit of their heroes they appreciate that the appeal is not in meticulously observed homage, but going off road and mixing it up  a bit , that’s why they don’t mind veering off the Blues Brothers track when the occasion demands it.”

 

“Don’t be surprised if the Banned segue from ass-spanking soul like James Brown and Wilson Pickett into the pop-ska of Madness, Boyzone balladry or a reggae version of the them tune from Scrubs.”

 

What The Public Think Fringe '06
Alfred Williams - Sunday 20th August 2006

Brilliant night out! Being a massive fan of this music I was curious if a band on the fringe could pull it off, they did and some! Saw it on the Tuesday then dragged more friends to see it on the Wednesday. Very tight as a band and simply a good night with brilliant music.

Three Weeks #1

Their infectious enthusiasm spreads like wildfire through the theatre

Three Weeks #2

Blues Brothers Banned combines skilful musicians, soulful singers, slick choreography and just the right amount of audience participation

Bucks Examiner

The two lead vocalists had everyone around me crying with laughter thanks to their dancing and general stage persona

Gig Review Scotland #1

Book them now, you will not be disappointed

Various Quotes

Anyone familiar with the Blues Brothers brand know they whip up a storm of fun and excitment born of chaos and the same goes for their tribute offspring Blues Brothers Banned

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